Feb 19, 2010, 1:12 PM
Except you knew this before, if one should tell you that a butterfly springs from a larva you will dismiss it outright as nonsense – you still will not be right though. The truth is that a butterfly in its initial state is not a winged creature; it changes into one. From an immobile larva that feeds on leaves, it metamorphoses into a butterfly that feeds on nectar. We were born sinners because we inherited the nature of Adam, the first human being. But we do not have to stay that way throughout our lives. God has offered us a way to change from what we were born into, to becoming a new creation, a changed person – a child of God. (John 1:12)
God wants us to come to the knowledge of truth so we could qualify for entry into his kingdom. On this earth, we are just in transit. It is not our permanent home - however hard we try to make it one. To gain entry, we must be completely changed. That change is effectuated when we identify with Christ and recognise his finished work on the cross of Calvary. He alone could pay the price of sin.
The reason Christ went to the cross was to reconcile us with God. No man or woman can, because of his good deeds, make it to heaven. We can gain access into his kingdom when we believe that Christ died for our sins – a penalty we ourselves could not pay. On the cross, Jesus nailed our past to give us hope for a new life. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Indeed, all things have become new.
When we come to Christ, conscious that ‘he only could unlock the gates of heaven and let us in,’ then a simple operation that radically transforms us from the inside takes place. It is not as if we have turned a new page or a new leaf; when we receive Christ a total change occurs. We begin to see things in a new light and to have a new perspective of life. We begin to be a ‘doer’ of the word, not just a ‘listener.’ The mean, bad and ugly things you used to do before, we cease doing them anymore. Our conscience pricks us each time we want to go back there – to our past. Like the larva, we graduate into freedom from sin and into a better, deeper and more fruitful life.
Newness of life
Actually, we will not be like a newborn baby or like bread just from the oven - nothing of the sort! But we are bound to feel lighter, more focused, with fewer trappings. Most of all, we shall have a new mindset. We graduate into the realm of things that really matter - not just what is essential. Our new perspective makes little room for compromise; our relationship with God takes precedence over all that we do. Love for our brother/sister becomes a priority. We realise we cannot love God if we have no fellowship with those who are the very image of God. (1 John 4:19)
All of a sudden we come to terms with what it means to live – not anyhow, but the abundant kind of life that is lived through Christ. It suddenly dawns on us that a branch cannot stay alive without receiving its daily sustenance from the tree. Jesus said: “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (John 15:4)
We were created for a purpose and like fish out of water, we die to real life (spiritually, that is) because we have chosen to serve other gods - the god of wealth and power; the god of lust and sexual immorality; in short, the world and all its multitude of lies and deceit. All these lead to the same exit - death.
You want to come to terms with who you really are? Only Christ can crush you, melt you, shape you and mould you so you can become your true-self, a child of God. A new creation means that you have become an eagle – able to fly high and therefore you will stop identifying with chickens that cannot fly. Your self-image must change.
Jesus has not given up on you so do not give up on yourself. He is saying to you: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20) When Zacchaeus, a customs officer with a very bad reputation - because he was known for dabbling with public funds - received Jesus into his house, no one told him it was time for a change. All the time Jesus was in his house he was mute until Zacchaeus made a confession.
“But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus made him a different person. You cannot know Jesus and remain the same. “The Lord is my light and my salvation.” (Psalm 27:1) Zacchaeus operated a change ‘there and then.’ If you are still where you used to be in your spiritual life, it is time to make a change. Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:8-10) Zacchaeus received his transformation from a chicken to an eagle; from a larva to a butterfly. Make that life-transforming change! Jesus is standing at the door of your heart, waiting.